Home New 2018-09-09T19:10:34+00:00

Bluestown Rising:

The Documentary

Notodden – The town saved by the Blues

The factories in this isolated town of Notodden shut down in 1987, leaving nothing but silence where jobs had once been.

The Characters

The Place

Telemark was Norway’s ‘Wild West’, full of mystery, music and fairytales, a land of natural beauty from the rugged mountains in the north to the rocky coastline in the south.

The settlement that later became Notodden was located in Upper Telemark, a defiantly independent region. Here, small farm and landowners honored their Norse Viking tradition and rituals as they had for many centuries – with protection and vegeance.

This was a land of legend, respected – and feared.

The People

They worked the fiery furnaces by day, then played hard by night in the young and vibrant town of Notodden.  Whenever and wherever they could, they played music. 

Years passed. The war came and Norway was occupied. Five painful years later, Norway and Europe were freed.

New post-war generations in Notodden began to work the factories.  Some young people heard the call of adventure and sailed to American and beyond as crew on mighty Norwegian ships.


Executive Producer Steven Van Zandt

The Notodden-based Bluestown Rising production company is working with Executive Producer Steven Van Zandt, who has this to say about Notodden:

“When I first came to Notodden in 2015, I found a unique festival in a very special environment in the mountains of southern Norway.

The next year I returned once more, and realized that the history behind the festival and the industrial roots of Notodden was an important story waiting to be told. It was then that I proposed the idea for this documentary.

As Executive Producer of Bluestown Rising, my role is to ensure that this documentary becomes the classic and compelling tale of how the Blues saved the town of Notodden.”

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We would love to hear from you. Whether you are a fan of Blues music, attending this year’s festival in Notodden or you want to help us with our Kickstarter campaign, please get in touch directly at info@bluestownrising.com, or you can join our mailing list for the latest updates.